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Former Uber exec Andrew Chapin takes the wraps off his stealth mental health startup

One can only imagine what it was like to work at Uber in the years leading up to Susan Fowler’s infamous blog post. Many of the company’s leaders were said to be overly competitive, sexist and inappropriate — “brilliant jerks,” as Arianna Huffington once said, — and its over-arching “move fast and break things” mentality hardly left room for employees to take a step back and reflect on how the company’s culture was impacting their mental health. Andrew Chapin joined Uber in 2011 as one of its first hires in New York. He worked his way up to head of vehicle solutions and established Uber’s vehicle finance program, which helps drivers obtain and pay off car leases. He says the struggles within the company gave him severe anxiety, something he was all too familiar with from his stint as a commodities trader at Goldman Sachs. “There were days when I was walking through lower Manhattan and thinking if I got hit by a car and was in the hospital for a week, it’d be better than going to work,” Chapin told TechCrunch. At both Goldman and Uber, Chapin would go through rough patches but resisted therapy, in part because of the outlandish costs but mostly because of the hassle. Toward the end of his five-year Uber tenure, he realized the dire need for accessible and flexible tech-enabled tools to help workers endure stressful times, as well as the need to destigmatize the mental health issues prevalent within the tech industry and beyond. In late 2016, he left Uber to build his own startup. Two years later, he’s ready to share what he’s been working on. Basis, an app meant to help people cope with anxiety, depression and other mental health issues through guided conversations via chat or video, is emerging from stealth today with a $3.75 million investment led by Bedrock. Wave Capital and Lightspeed Venture Partners have also participated in the round. Investors are waking up to the emotional struggle of startup founders “Looking back at the Goldman experience of just kind of wallowing in this unpleasant situation, [Basis] would have been an…

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